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Deliverance - 1979 Tightrope
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on October 06 2009, In 1979 Articles , 4 Comments , 3367 Reads , Print

ARTIST: Deliverance
ALBUM: Tightrope
LABEL: Global (A&M)
SERIAL: 0063.205
YEAR: 1979


LINEUP: Paul Janz - vocals, keyboards * Jacques Emanuel Belzung - guitars * Guy Roellinger - bass * Dave McSparren - drums * Danny Janz - vocals * Ken Janz - vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Foolish Hearts * 02 Tightrope * 03 Farewell * 04 Prince Of The Galaxies * 05 Leaving LA * 06 Back Seat Rider * 07 Can You Survive * 08 Face The Lady * 09 Re-Creation

Deliverance were a Christian oriented band primarily made up by three of the Janz brothers: Danny, Ken and Paul. The latter - Paul Janz is well known in melodic rock/AOR circles due to his brace of A&M solo albums during the 80's, Deliverance though, goes back a decade. The band released three albums during their time, the first and second albums ('Give It A Try' and 'Lasting Impressions') came out in 1976 and 1978 respectively in their native Canada, and were more Jesus rock oriented, and would find little appeal among readers here. The third album 'Tightrope' is slightly different. The Janz's moved to Germany to pursue their musical career throughout Europe, the album was recorded in Munich, and features the above line-up, plus a selection of local musicians. The music veers more toward a west coast/pop rock hybrid, with a massive infusion of Bee Gees like vocal work. It retains a poppy feel, not quite disco as per the Gibbs, but still very much a product of the late 70's scene.

The Songs
Released on the A&M subsidiary Global, 'Tightrope' is a mixed bag. There's a lot of funky jazzy pieces that reminds us of bands such as Flight, Network and of course The Bee Gees. It's an acquired taste for many, but if you've lived and breathed 70's rock for a lifetime, then the material on 'Tightrope' will come as no surprise. The opener 'Foolish Hearts' sounds similar to Ian Thomas Band in terms of musical structure, then we've move into 'Tightrope', a punctuated track with smooth synth layers and an abundance of saxophone in the solo section. 'Farewell' could be Surrender/Zappacosta doing smooth jazz, whereas 'Prince Of The Galaxies' has all the hallmarks of The Bee Gees.. whether that be a good or bad thing.. 'Leaving L.A' is a very laid back affair, too schmaltzy for my tastes, but it made the lower reaches of the US charts.. I guess there's no accounting for taste is there? Much better IMO is 'Back Seat Rider', a punchy AOR affair with stabbing keys, while the subtle 'Can You Survive' fuses Dire Straits like guitar work with some layered Alan Parsons Project like keyboard work. It might sound strange but it works. Returning to funky territory is 'Face The Lady', not a track I enjoyed unfortunately, however the album is saved by the pleasant 70's pop/rock of 'Re Creation'.

In Summary
Deliverance played some of the Christian Festivals around Europe during 1980, including the annual Christian arts and music festival in the UK known as Greenbelt. As events unfolded, Deliverance were the victims of a lopsided record deal with Global, and were in fact advised by their lawyers to quit - ending what could have been a profitable run. Nearly thirty years later, most would find 'Tightrope' an oddity at best, while those more used to 80's and 90's releases would probably toss this aside in disdain. Of course history will show that Paul Janz returned to Canada for a successful stint with A&M, while Deliverance remains a collectors item at best among CCM fans.

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#1 | Eric on October 07 2009 03:47:18
I remember Don Palmer raving about this one although after hearing it myself several years ago I agree with this review,
The pop stuff works better...
#2 | gdazegod on October 07 2009 17:06:57
Now there's a name that's been missing from the AOR/CCM universe for a while..
#3 | Eric on September 01 2010 00:46:02
Actually, Their 1976 album 'Give It A Try' isn't as bad as Palmer's rating. There's a ten minute prog piece and some other rocking stuff to be found as well.
#4 | trillion1999 on October 11 2011 05:59:53
The same store that had Spiders From Mars had one of Deliverance as well.It was not Tightrope.Of course both albums gone when I went back to look for them.My curiosity was piqued.Enter youtube.Someone had uploaded Deliverance-tracks.One of the albums I loved everything from.It was not Tightrope.Sad with such a nice cover.Would never have discovered if not for GD though.*blushing*
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